Tallahassee Democrat

Hurricane Michael Impacts Continue: Gulf County property values could drop 30 percent

The board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. heard a presentation Monday concerning the impacts on property values and tax rolls in just one county hit hard by Hurricane Michael. It was sobering news. In all, county property values are currently estimated to fall by 30-40 percent, $347 million to $521 million.

Gulf County Property Appraiser Mitch Burke provided the information his office has gleaned so far in their work to craft a property roll, with a long way to go before the tentative roll is certified in July.

“We still have a great deal of work to do,” Burke said. “We are very early in our appraisal.”

But if the numbers in July look anything like the numbers Burke presented Monday, local governments will be in for serious sticker-shock come budget time this summer.

As just one example, at the high end of Burke’s current calculations, the Board of County Commissioners would see a decrease in revenue of nearly $4 million next year alone, based on current millage rates.

Triumph staff is reviewing a pre-application from three Gulf County taxing authorities, the BOCC, Gulf District Schools and the city of Port St. Joe, seeking over $21 million in grant funding to abate a loss of tax revenue over the next three years.

At least one other county is seeking tax abatement grant dollars from Triumph due the storm.

After the hurricane, the Triumph board communicated with all eight counties to which it is disbursing BP fine dollars that if they wished to change or eliminate submitted projects, the board was keen to work with them.

Read full article . . .